, Volume 274, Issue 6, pp 349-353
Date: 26 Jul 2006

Acute fatty liver of pregnancy

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Acute fatty liver of pregnancy (AFLP) is a rare and serious entity associated with significant maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity. We describe our experience with the clinical diagnosis, management and course patients with AFLP.

Study design

Medical records of patients with AFLP were reviewed over a 10-year period. Records were reviewed for symptoms, laboratory findings, clinical course, and maternal and perinatal outcomes.


The incidence of AFLP was 1 in 7,270 births. The mean gestational age at onset was 34.6 ± 4.9 weeks. Eight percent of the patients were multiparous with more than three pregnancies. The prodromic phase was variable; patients complained of nausea, abdominal pain, malaise, polyuria-polydipsia syndrome and headaches followed by jaundice. The laboratory results indicated coagulopathy, liver function abnormalities and hypoglycemia. Emergency cesarean section was performed in two cases. The diagnosis has been assessed by transcutaneous hepatic biopsies processed in all patients between the 4th and 15th day (8.4 ± 4.3 days). Maternal morbidity included hypoglycaemia (40%), coagulopathy (50%) encephalopathy (30%) and renal failure (40%). There were no maternal deaths but fetal mortality is high 66%.


The early recognition of AFLP cases and prompt progressive management, including early termination of pregnancy and large dose infusion of fresh frozen plasma, the prognosis of AFLP is obviously improved.